In employee terminations, consistency, documentation and leadership are key

by on May 26, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Three key ideas will all help you make risk reward type decisions in employee terminations

  1. Be consistent.
  2. Make exceptions to employee terminations only based on performance. Even though you have to worry about terminating employees who aren’t contributing positively, you shouldn’t have to refuse to reward or acknowledge a good employee. Suppose you give an employee an extra week’s vacation. This employee has slugged it out, brought in bottom line dollars and did a great job. This person did some extraordinary, above and beyond the call work, and you gave her an extra week’s vacation. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Now, you notice another member of the unit that’s keeping track of everybody’s vacation. This member comes to you and says that so-and-so got extra vacation. That’s unfair, that’s discrimination. Your response can be “Yes, it is, based on performance. If you do what she did, then we’ll talk.”

    The goal is not a conflict free unit, that’s not going to happen. You need to ask yourself where the conflict is coming from? If the conflict comes from bad people, then you’re on the right track. If it comes from good people, you’re going to take a second look at it.

  3. Documentation.
  4. Everybody screams about the documentation with employee terminations. Keeping good documentation is in your best business interest when terminating employees. Yes. But it doesn’t mean you should run around all day, making people sign every piece of communication you ever give them.

    You can give informal communication. You can even just make a note on a calendar. Then you can go back and take credit for it. If it doesn’t work, get more formal as we’ve discussed. This continues to be a problem, but employees need to know where they stand, and the documentation lets you take credit for it if you wind up terminating an employee.

  5. You’re the leader.
  6. Think like an outsider thinks as you go forward with employee terminations. As you go to manage your mouth, your actions, your activities, think like an outsider would. And that will help you make those risk-reward type decisions with your employee terminations.

These are the edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute webinar:
“Yes, You Can Fire Without Fear! What Every Supervisor Needs to Know” hosted by Hunter Lott, Esq. on 2 22-07

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